Archive for March 2013
A new track on SoundCloud “Steep Canyon Rangers Interview”:
The Steep Canyon Rangers is a five member traditional bluegrass band out of North Carolina that sings the stories of Appalachia. Charles Humphrey does bass and harmony vocals to the group. Don Merrill had the chance to talk with him about the harmonies, investing in community and the legacy of the music from Bill Monroe to Steve Martin.
Asking opens doors. Asking makes the unconsidered, the inconceivable and the unapproachable, possible. Asking is the wild card of the universe. Because before we ask, we don’t know. And because we don’t know, we assume. And because we all have our own egos, large and small, we think we already know the answer. So, we try to work around the issue to get to where we want to be without asking. We try to get what we want without taking the one critical path that will definitively get us there, yes or no.
We may think we don’t have the courage to ask or the stomach to ask or the humility to ask or the time to ask. But not asking can set in motion a cascading, Angry Birds kind of collapse of the expectations we built thinking we can achieve escape velocity from metaphysical gravity.
Sometimes, only one person can make it happen and that person wants their respect before they give you yours. Or they’ve been waiting a long time to deny you what you deeply want and you both know it. Or, they’ve been dying to help you, but they want you to man or woman up and ask. Sometimes, you don’t ask because you don’t want to know, but everything and everybody in your orbit is stopped, like some kind of Twilight Zoney solstice and they’re all waiting for you to move on. And of course, you can be stuck, forced to ask the wrong person who may take your ask and use it against you. But the ask isn’t about who you ask as much as it is about the act of asking and the direction that compass needle points. Yes, you can be betrayed. But the world is full of roads to your own Lotus blossom. Ask somebody else since The Ask can also help you circumvent demigods. Consequently, you may have to make a lot of asks before you finally get to an answer you’ve been praying for. But it’s possible to that answer will never come, no matter how may people you ask. And if you’re facing a wall because there is nobody else to ask, live with it … for now.
Like all roads lead to Rome, sometimes, all routes and passageways do point you to your one and only one Omega man or woman. Of course, you can always opt out of the ask, and everything connected with it. Our time here is full of smaller asks that we can avoid or can work around or can face easier than others. Rarely in life does it come down to the one ask that changes everything. But it does tend to happen, significantly, at least once. And when it does, it’s usually the biggest thing we’ve faced, or will face. So we can choose to not play it out, but chances are, it’ll be the one decision we’ll never forget; the one that will affect all the rest.
The Ask is the crack of the bat in John Fogerty’s “Put me in Coach.” The Ask, at the right time and to the right person, crushes everything else. The Ask can slam doors shut or blast them open. But to get either result for sure, you have to do it, face it, let it send you flying – up or down. Because in the end, the ask is all about you.
Checking WordPress against my IFTTT recipes to make sure everything is going where it’s supposed to. This is maintenance.
A new track on SoundCloud “Hatian V Interview”:
Haitian V., aka Vladimir Barthelemow Thelonious Rasputin Slocumb Calixte The 3rd, is a Haitian comic and entertainer with Flatbush, NY roots. He was recently in the Pacific Northwest to not only promote Haitian music but to support the Haitian community. Don Merrill had the chance to talk with this quiet, funny man who avoids always being comically “on” but who is never intellectually “off.”
A new track on SoundCloud “Melanie Davis Interview”:
Melanie Davis is the owner of Brilliant Media, Su Publica Ad Agency, El Hispanic News and Proud Queer Monthly. Despite her youth, the road to magnate has been a long one, beginning with an iconic grandmother in her childhood home of New Mexico. Don Merrill talks with lesbian latina Melanie Davis about what she loves about Portland, the publishing business and why she’s OK crashing business meetings in her Harley gear.
In the middle of editing this most recent interview, I had to stop to write this post. I’ve done a few dozen interviews now, and I’m starting to notice a pattern. Many of the people I talk to, whether they’re famous or up and coming, are surprised that I actually know something about who they are or what they do. And that surprises me. And for the people reading this post or listening to my interviews, it should surprise you. Why? Because if you’re interested in what I have to say, or what they have to say, it means. you expect me to be able to tell you something, and something not pat or cliche’ish, but something unusual, valuable, useful or unique. And that’s stuff I can only get from taking the time to do the research. It’s what gives the conversation credibility to convey. And apparently, a lot of frustrated interviewees are interviewed by a lot of interviewers that don’t do that.
Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply said his partner Graham Russell has gotten up in the middle of lazy interviews and left because the interviewer started out with a question like, “So, what kind of music do you guy perform?” Haitian V said essentially the same thing. He told me he expected to be pissed off at me because he expected that I was like other interviews he’d done where the interviewer hadn’t taken the time to learn anything about him, his life or his work.
I just wonder where else this happens in society and culture. I remember that scene in “Armageddon” where the Jason Issacs character is trying to discredit a bad opinion from another presidential advisor on how to save the Earth from the asteroid collision, and says, “As the presidents’ chief scientific advisor, we were at MIT together. And, in a situation like this, you – you really don’t wanna take the advice from a man who got a C minus in astrophysics.”
Just makes me wonder sometimes how may other C minus students are there out there running things. I can certainly think of a few. But my interviews will never be light on depth.